Christian Horner initially criticized Yuki Tsunoda after qualifying for the Mexican Grand Prix (“We were ‘tsunodat'”), but withdrew this criticism after the race on Sunday: “Now that I had the opportunity to take a closer look, I have to to be fair to Yuki, say that you could have supported him better with more information, “says the Red Bull team boss.
Before the all-important Q3 run, Tsunoda initially pulled his team-mate Pierre Gasly in the slipstream, because he himself had been relocated because of an engine penalty. When he was already driving slowly, the two Red Bulls appeared behind him – and Sergio Pérez, possibly irritated by the AlphaTauri, slipped off the gas, which in turn caused Max Verstappen to briefly take off the gas in anticipation of a yellow flag (which did not come) to go.
On closer inspection of the situation, however, it turned out: Firstly, Tsunoda received the information that Pérez was approaching behind him relatively late. And secondly, Pérez’s onboard perspective proves that Tsunoda may have irritated him by voluntarily driving off the track to make room, but that the mistake is more his own responsibility.
“It was just unfortunate how the situation turned out,” says Horner in retrospect. “Especially for the reason that Yuki was only there to give his team-mate a slipstream. But it is the way it is. In the end it turned out well, because it was not a disadvantage for us today to be on the second row of the grid stand.”
Immediately after qualifying, Helmut Marko went to AlphaTauri, presumably to give Tsunoda his opinion. But Franz Tost took a protective stand in front of the little Japanese: “I told Helmut to stay calm and we’ll take a look,” said the AlphaTauri team boss in an interview with “Sky”.
“He can tell that to any grandmother”
“We said to Yuki: ‘Watch out, Pérez is coming, he’s four seconds behind you. Now watch out.’ And what did Yuki do? He immediately drove off the track. The fact that Pérez follows him has nothing to do with Yuki. Discussing this at all is a joke. Helmut saw that too, “says Tost.
He does not accept the argument that Pérez was “dirty air” in Tsunodas: “To speak of a ‘dirty air’ for someone who drives so slowly: He can tell any grandmother that, but not us! If you make mistakes make, okay, then we’ll stand by it. But that wasn’t a mistake, neither by the team nor by Yuki. I don’t know what Pérez did there. “
An assessment that Marko shares after talking to Tost and Tsunoda on Saturday: “Poor Tsunoda can’t help it.” His race engineer warned him very early about the Ferraris, but too late about the Red Bulls who came from behind. “He went completely to the side anyway. Yuki didn’t do anything wrong”, Marko defends the Japanese in an interview with ‘Sky’.
However, the Red Bull bosses on Facebook & Co. had already gotten their fill when they apologized for the initial criticism of Tsunoda. Red Bull drove over young drivers like a steamroller when it came to protecting the inviolable stars of Red Bull Racing, and was neither objective nor understanding, was a core reproach.
Social networks, Horner argues, “often pick up a sentence and exploit it. I think it’s important that you can continue to say what you’re thinking. It would be pretty boring if you no longer have to think about the performance of one other driver may express, “says the Red Bull team boss about the harsh criticism of his first statement.